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Manage Domains

Manage Domains

The "Domain Management" >> "Manage Domains" gives you control over the how your domain(s) interact with the web server. Depending on the package your have, using this tool you can do the following:

  • get the IP address of your domain or subdomain as reported by the server
  • check to see if the domain is pointing to the web server
  • check to see if the root web exists
  • see how many e-mail addresses are using this domain
  • get "whois" information on any .com, .net, .org, or .edu domain
  • change the absolute path or root web that the domain or subdomain points to enable/disable wildcards for subdomain use
  • customize the error message pages for the domain or subdomai
  • forward domains to an off-site URL (domain forwarding)
  • Only domains and subdomains you have added in your "Your Domains" tool will show up in this list.

 Technical Note...

There are many tools available via shell command that can give you very detailed and specific data on any domain.  Some of these commands are whois, nslookup, and dig. Proper use of these tools help you get exact information on domain and troubleshoot problems.  Appies interacts with some of these tools to give you just basic information about the domain.


Understanding the layout. When you first visit the "Manage Domains" tool, you will see each of your domains listed in alphabetical order with some fields after each domain.  Subdomains are indented under their master domain. The form is designed for you to change information on one or more of your domains then proceed to the bottom of the page where clicking the "process" button will save the changes you have made and reload the web server. This means any changes you make instantly take place.

Getting basic information about the domain / subdomain. Each domain or subdomain is an active link.  Clicking this link will expand view of the domain and report some general information.

  • IP Address. This reports the IP address of the domain or subdomain as reported by the server it is on. If you are using the server's DNS, then within 15 minutes of adding the name to the DNS (see "DNS Service") your should see the correct IP for the domain.  Keep in mind however that the 72 hour rule applies for all other name servers to pick up this new IP address. If the IP address matches your IP, you will get the message that the domain is pointing to the Web server.
  • Root Web. The root web (also referred to as the absolute path of the folder domain points to) is where the HTML documents and content for this web server is stored.  This does a quick check to see if the folder exists.  If not, you can always create it at anytime using one of many applications or tools (see "File Manager").
  • Aliases. This is a quick count of how many e-mail aliases, list accounts and/or autoresponders are using this domain on your server.  This is useful to know if you are removing the domain and did not realize there are e-mail addresses for the domain in use on the server.
  • Whois information (available for domains only). Whois information gives you complete registration information on any .com, .net, .org, and .edu domain. This information is very helpful to see current ownership information and name server information.
     

 Technical Note...

Due to constantly changing registrar policies and procedures, the whois information may not always be reported correctly, depending on registrar.


Domain forwarding (full URL). If you have a domain that you would like to forward to another domain or URL that is either on your server or on another server, use the domain forwarding feature by entering the full URL of where you want your domain forwarded to.

Absolute path of folder domain points to. This option allows you to add a domain to your server that does not act as an alias, but rather points to it's own document root.  This is considered a type of name based virtual hosting. If you are not simply creating a domain alias (a domain or sub domain that points to your existing document root /var/www/html, and you are using this domain for virtual hosting, use the directory path /var/www/virtualhosts/[dirname] where [dirname] is the name of the folder for this host.

 Technical Note...

The virtualhosts directory is a special directory that is recognized by the web server as a place where virtual hosts go.  Because it is not above your html directory, the security is much better and scripts cannot be run from any file in or above this folder.  In addition, additional FTP accounts can only be setup using folders in the virtualhosts directory as their root.


Enable wildcard subdomains. This option allows you to have a "catchall" web domain. For example, without this option enabled if someone were to visit the domain http://info.hostingfreaks1.com and you did not have info.hostingfreaks1.com specified in the "Your Domains" tool, the user would get an DNS error. However with this option enabled users would get the home page for that domain.

 Be Careful...

Server owners! Make sure this feature is disabled for your hostname.  If it is enabled, all of your user's temporary domains using your hostname will default to your main homepage.

Error pages. There are three main error pages used by most Web servers. These error pages are triggered by the corresponding errors listed below.

  • 404 file not found. If a user enters in an incorrect filename that does not exist on your server, this page is displayed.
  • 500 server error. If a script is called and fails to execute, this page is displayed.
  • 401 permission denied. If a password protected area cannot be entered due to an unsuccessful authentication, this page is displayed.

Each one of these pages uses the standard Appies error pages by default.  These are listed as simply "default" in the fields.  If you package allows it, you can change these default pages to any custom HTML pages. Just create the pages and place them anywhere on your Web server in or above your absolute path for that domain. Then enter the absolute path or relative path of the error page in the field. For example, if you have created a new error page called "my404error.html" and placed it in /var/www/html then you can enter
/var/www/html/my404error.html

or just

/my404error.html

 Marketing Idea...

As the server owner, you can customize your own default error messages for all of your users simply by replacing the files in your /var/www/errors folder.  These error messages are displayed very often and can be used as a marketing / branding campaign.


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